Injury Thwarts Koblenz's Sydney Campaign

MELBOURNE Cup hero Koblenz has been ruled out of the fast approaching Paws Of Thunder after sustaining injury in his shock Shepparton loss.

Adam Dobbin

30 December 2021

MELBOURNE Cup hero Koblenz has been ruled out of the fast approaching Group 1 Paws Of Thunder after sustaining injury in Thursday’s shock defeat at Shepparton.

The superstar son of Fernando Bale and Up Hill Jill was expected to make light work of his Shepparton assignment on Thursday in 3/4th grade company over the 450m journey.

But in one of the major upsets of 2021, the 26-time winner could only manage a surprise half-length second to Mayhem Lass as an unbackable $1.10 favourite.

“He’s come out of the run with a slight muscle tear and some soreness in a hock so he’ll be off for a good month now,” said trainer David Geall.

“In the run you could tell he just didn’t have his usual drive and even walking back to the car after the run I could tell all wasn’t right with him.

“He’s been up for a while so while it’s disappointing to miss Sydney and the Paws Of Thunder it gives us a chance to recharge the batteries and go again.”

Winner of $776,105 in stakes, Koblenz went into the Shepparton hit-out following his gritty third to Wow She’s Fast in the inaugural The TAB Phoenix at The Meadows a week earlier.

Remarkably, the regally bred sprinter last finished out of the placings at Sandown Park back in April, his sequence of finishing in the money now 31 and counting.

All things being equal, Geall will target his star chaser towards the Group 1 Temlee (525m) at The Meadows On February 12 which launches the lucrative Australian Cup Carnival.

Following that campaign Geall is hoping to head to Sydney with Koblenz and target the Golden Easter Egg followed by the first of two Million Dollar Chase events in 2022.

Victory in the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg would see Koblenz emulate the deeds of his sire Fernando Bale, winner of the race in 2015, and dam Up Hill Jill, victorious in 2018.

“I’m looking forward to getting back up to Sydney,” Geall said.

“We’ve got some of our fondest memories at Wentworth Park and I feel the track will really suit Koblenz being the high speed dog that he is.

“It’s upsetting to miss the Paws Of Thunder but the good thing is the injuries aren’t too bad and we’ve got them early.”